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New IEEE Wi-Fi Study Group Focusing on LTE Offloading to New Wi-Fi Standard
Established this past July, the IEEE's 802.11HEW (High-Efficiency WLAN) study group (SG) aims to enhance the PHY (Physical) and MAC (Media Access Control) layers of 802.11's 2.4GHz and 5 GHz spectrum "with a focus on improving real-world, rather than theoretical, spectrum efficiency and area throughput," according to a FierceWirelessTech report.
Employing Wi-Fi for carrier offload is a strategic focal point of this initiative. With wireless carriers continuing to make greater use of Wi-Fi, there's a need to improve the performance and efficiency of wireless local area networks (WLANs) so as to enhance their interoperability with 4G LTE networks.
The study group's overarching objective is making IEEE 802.11 wireless technology "a friendly option for LTE going forward," senior manager for strategic marketing at Marvell Technology Group and IEEE 802.11 chair Bruce Kraemer was quoted as saying.
Related to this, the new study group also aims to improve indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi network performance in areas of heavy interference where the density of "heterogeneous networks in moderate to heavy user-loaded access points" is high.
Elaborated 7signal Solutions' CTO Veli Pekka-Letonen, "The past standardization work has been very much focused on increasing the maximum speeds, maximum capabilities. This new standard is not so much about improving maximum speeds but improving the practical use and experience."
Initially driven forward by French operator Orange, 802.11HEW gained carrier and carrier equipment vendor interest quickly. The SG now includes Huawei, Broadcom, Qualcomm, China Mobile and NTT DoCoMo.
Carriers and wireless industry participants appear to be very interested in 802.11HEW. The SG has received nearly 150 submissions. "The quantity of submissions over the course of six months has been notable and remarkable within 802.11," Kraemer was quoted.
As FierceWirelessTech reports, seven target use case environments were proposed in a 802.11HEW presentation in July: enterprise, small office, public hotspots, homes, campuses and transportation. A set of associated enhanced applications were also deemed essential, including wearable devices such as Google Glass, Wi-Fi geolocation services; wireless docking, progressive streaming, user-generated content uploads and sharing, interactive multimedia and gaming, real-time video analytics and gaming, and augmented reality.
Kramer cited stadium use, where stadium event attendees use their smartphones to stream digital feeds with personalized viewing capabilities, such as zooming in on a particular player – as a "particularly intriguing" example of the types of cutting edge Wi-Fi capabilities the 802.11HEW SG is looking to fully realize.